Bloc Party bring ‘Intimacy’ to Reading Festival

Band play first show since third album's shock release

Bloc Party played Reading Festival tonight (August 23) just days after releasing third album ‘Intimacy’.

The band released the album as a download on Thursday (21), making their Main Stage appearance their first gig since it became available.

Marking the occasion, frontman Kele Okereke started the show with a short speech saying it had been a few weeks of “new members, new babies and a new record” – referring to bassist Gordon Moakes, who is on extended paternity leave and his stand-in Daniel Lindegren – before adding that “I have one more thing to say”, and broke into the opening line of recent single ‘Mercury’.

They later played ‘One Month Off’ from the new album, before dedicating ‘This Modern Love’ to their absent bandmate.

“We’d like to dedicate our next song to Gordon our usual bass player,” declared Okereke. “I have no doubt he’ll be watching online, can we have a big high to Gordon and his new baby Scarlet.”

A series of “Gordon” chants followed from the crowd with the singer noting “he’ll love that”.

However, ahead of ‘So Here We Are’, Okereke had to rein in his audience, after the big screens picked out a girl on someone’s shoulder and the crowd chanted for her to take her top off.

“Come on,” cautioned the singer, “this is still a Bloc Party gig,” before explaining the band were feeling good about tonight’s show after “a bird shat” on their stand-in bassist, which “must be a good luck sign”.

“I hope you’re having as much fun as we are, you can show that we’re all friends here,” the singer later told the crowd as he kicked off ‘Flux’, working the opening lines of Prince‘s ‘I Would Die 4 U’ into his own song.

With green lasers firing across the site, the band then seemingly wrapped up the set with a frantic version of ‘Helicopter’.

However, Bloc Party returned for a rare Reading Festival encore.

“Thank you so much, it’s a little bit cheeky but we thought we have to play the song that started it all off,” explained Okereke who sung the vocals for ‘She’s Hearing Voices’ from the barriers at the front of the crowd.

Bloc Party played:


‘Hunting For Witches’

‘Song For Clay (Disappear Here)’


‘Two More Years’

‘One Month Off’

‘This Modern Love’

‘The Prayer’

‘So Here We Are’

‘Like Eating Glass’

‘I Would Die 4 U’/ ‘Flux’


‘She’s Hearing Voices’

Watch the band walking on stage at this year’s Reading and Leeds below.

var config = new Array();config[“videoId”> = 1753815624; config[“videoRef”> = null;config[“lineupId”> = null; config[“playerTag”> = null; config[“autoStart”> = false; config[“preloadBackColor”> = “#FFFFFF”; config[“width”> = 486; config[“height”> = 412; config[“playerId”> = 1670076655; createExperience(config, 8);

NME.COM is bringing you live coverage straight from both sites of the Reading And Leeds Festivals 2008. For the latest news, blogs, pictures and video interviews head to the Reading And Leeds Festivals index now.

Plus make sure you get next week’s issue of NME – on newsstands nationwide from Wednesday August 27 – for the ultimate Reading And Leeds Festivals review.

For more Reading And Leeds Festivals coverage including live footage and more, visit fellow official media partner